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Exit the Matrix


Exit the Matrix  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. You encounter a civilization controlled by robots, where the humanoid inhabitants are living a fake virtual reality while the robots control the civilization and use them for computing power. What do you do?

    • Respect the prime directive and not intervene.
      3
    • Destroy the virtual world so the inhabitants wake up to the real world, even though that could lead to a war with the machines.
      0
    • Inform the inhabitants of the reality, but leave them there so they can find a way to earn their freedom.
      0
    • Inform the inhabitants of the reality, so they can decide themselves if they want you to free them.
      9
    • Other (let us know!)
      2


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Remember that movie from the 20th century, the Matrix? About how life was just a virtual reality humanity was connected to while their bodies were used by machines, so they would not know about the real world? Well, what if that situation had had an external influence?

You are the captain of a starship and, in one of your planets, you find a planet ruled by robots. After investigating, you learn that the native population of the planet, humanoids like you, have been enslaved by the robots, and they live connected to computers for their raw computing power. However, they are living in a virtual reality world where they think they are a rich and happy civilization.

The machines, to prove their humanoid computers are happy, even let you connect to this world and check that they really are. 

Given that situation, would you let it go on? Let us know!

This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!
 

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I had to go with "Other". Assuming the Robots were 'sentient' I would attempt to broker a deal with the Robots that if we were able to help them develop a new, more efficient power source they would explain the reality of the situation to the slave humanoids and give them the option to go back in the 'matrix' or live free in reality. If they are deemed not sentient and are simple machines that are simply complying with their programming (albeit in some dark, twisted, unexpected form) then the mission becomes a science/engineering mission to disable the machines, free the humanoids, and help them re-engineer their tech.

However, if the civilization is not warp-capable I would be hard pressed to intervene and breach the prime directive. Although I'd be temped to hit the planet with an EMP as we passed by and shut down the machines! lol

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9 minutes ago, Oddas Aria said:

Maybe 'accidentally' generate an EMP ....?

Of course... it happens... maybe some sort of probe accidentally goes off course and hits the planet's sun which caused a cascade type reaction leading to some kind of super solar flare that knocks out electronics?  I mean these things happen, right? Right?!?!

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Beam down a camera crew to document the incident, then market it as a science fiction movie trilogy?

 But in all seriousness, I think that interference would be unwise regardless of the Prime Directive. There are just too many unknowns about this situation. Where did the machines on this world come from? Do they have some ulterior motive besides using the native population for computing power (were the machines at one point the slaves, perhaps)? Would they really be better off free and either at war or having to start anew from the ground up? Unless I saw direct evidence of harm being inflicted on the aliens, there's not enough information and too many value judgments necessary to make a logical choice for the good of all involved.

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On 21/04/2017 at 2:15 AM, Brayden Jorey said:

Of course... it happens... maybe some sort of probe accidentally goes off course and hits the planet's sun which caused a cascade type reaction leading to some kind of super solar flare that knocks out electronics?  I mean these things happen, right? Right?!?!

Yeah sure and while your at it, you might just accidentally fry the machines keeping the people alive, killing them to, not freeing them.

Seriously though, this question is wholly dependant on the context it arises. If the terms pre-warp and or prime directive are used then that's it, sadly. 

In any other situation, I believe that the is a clause in the star fleet regulations saying that officers must prevent slavery, which this would classify as, though I might be mistaken. If I'm right though, starfleet gets to go war with the machines. Yay. 

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